If you’re a long-time follower of my work here- or back in the Avoiding the Drop days- you will know that my collection of “all things soccer” is, to say the least, extensive. My replica collection (which includes some “real thing” non-replica items as well) stretches into the hundreds of pieces with everything from shirts to shorts to socks to sweatshirts to jackets to boot bags to winter hats and on and on and on. At some point, after you wondered about my mental health, you may have had a more practical question: how does one build a collection so large?! Well, there a couple of ways.
First, I started a long time ago. My first shirt was a Borussia Möchengladbach one that I bought at some point in the late 1980s- the tag in the shirt says “Made in West Germany” if that helps you gain a little perspective.
Second, occasionally I lose my mind. Like in Cork, Ireland in March of 1996 when I walked out of a store with over £200 of gear. Now, in my defense, if they didn’t want me to buy that much stuff they shouldn’t have had an entire rack of discounted shirts from past seasons- I’m only human.
Finally, I’m always on the look out for a replica-related deal. Every couple of weeks I spend part of my days off making a quick cruise through places like Marshall’s, TJMaxx, Burlington Coat Factory, etc. to see if I can find some past season gear either at their already discounted prices, or, better yet, on the clearance rack.
Which brings us to today…
Today I had a doctor’s appointment after work that was at a time and place that made it pointless for me to go home in between, so I found myself with about an hour to kill and I thought, “Hey, there’s a TJMaxx in the plaza on the way to the doctor’s office…”
I scoured the store for about 15 minutes and then resigned myself to the fact that, other than the $3.00 case I found for my new phone (w00!) I was going to walk away empty handed. But then I thought, “I do need some generic soccer socks to wear when I play pick-up and sometimes they have cheap ones here,” so I doubled back to take another look. That’s when I saw these:
I was a little excited because I only have a few pairs of yellow socks (and they belong to very old Scotland kits so I’m hesitant to uses them), but my excitement faded when I saw the label which simply said “All Sport” instead of “soccer,” but then I thought, “What is that design on them?” As they were pinned together I couldn’t really see the whole thing, but I saw enough to know that, whatever it was, I’d seen it before. So I stood there for a a minute or two, brow furrowed, until my “soccer brain” kicked in and I realized what the logo was- it was the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. “cockerel!” Unfolded, the socks look like this:
A little quick research tells me that they are from the 2012-2013 season and that they are from the third choice goalkeeper kit, which looks like this:
That’s so obscure it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, but not as warm and fuzzy a feeling as I got from getting TWO pairs for $4.99!
And now you know how it happens…